Pennie health insurance enrollment deadline approaching

Pennie
Pennie Executive Director Zachary Sherman speaks during Tuesday’s news conference.
Commonwealth Media Services

Sunday is the final deadline to sign up for health insurance through Pennie, the state-based marketplace organized through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Once the open enrollment window ends, only people experiencing a major life event, such as the birth of a child or loss of job, can apply for the subsidized coverage.

Nine out of 10 people applying through Pennie qualify for cost reductions and the average savings, via an advanced tax credit, is more than $500 a month, according to the agency.

“If you shopped four or five years ago on the exchange (and) didn’t think it was affordable then, come back,” Pennsylvania Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humpreys said Tuesday. “Coverage has never been more affordable than it is today.”

Pennie Executive Director Zachary Sherman, speaking at a news conference at the Family Practice & Counseling Network’s Health Annex in Southwest Philadelphia, said 40% of people enrolled in Pennie pay premiums of less than $75. No one is required to pay more than 8.5% of their income, he added.

In Philadelphia, applicants can choose from up to five different private insurance companies offering a range of plans, Sherman said. A calculator tool on the agency’s website allows customers to see their potential rates based on their income.

Pennie’s goal is to reach individuals and families who do not receive coverage through their workplace and do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

Additionally, anyone whose employer-based plan would have them pay more than 9.2% of their income for health costs can also enroll in Pennie for cheaper coverage.

People who sign up for insurance now will begin receiving coverage Feb. 1. The open enrollment window opened Nov. 1.

To apply or get more information, go to pennie.com or call 1-844-844-8040.

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